There are newer employer reviews for Chemonics International
There are newer employer reviews for Chemonics International

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Helpful (3)

Very long hours, little pay, and company senior leadership unwilling to change approaches

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC

I worked at Chemonics International full-time (More than 3 years)

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Pros

You can learn great project management skills and there are lots of opportunities to travel. Associates and managers are pretty young and fun to hang out with, people generally are very hard-working and smart.

Cons

Even employees with a master's and several years of work experience need to start at the bottom of the totem pole unless they have direct experience in international development. I had come to Chemonics with a master's and seven years of work experience (including experience related to program management and coordination), but because it wasn't at an international development firm, I had to start as an entry-level associate at a starting salary of $40,000. I took the job, though, because I really wanted to work in international development and had been job-searching for about 8 months at this point. I rarely to never worked less than 9 hours per day, but many times as much as 12 hours, and sometimes up to 15 hours a day when working on a live proposal or when a project was in crisis mode. I think one of the most frustrating things is the way senior leadership decides to invest its employees' time with a "bid on everything" approach while not taking into account the company's actual chances of winning. This approach requires employees to pour an extremely large amount of time into something that is not likely to materialize. It burns people out. Also, the company went through a complete restructuring in late 2011, which ended up hurting the company. If the executive leadership had only consulted with associates, managers, and even directors about this poor choice, the company could be doing better. It seemed very hypocritical that an international development firm espousing the idea of bottom-up development failed to involve its members in such a big decision.

Advice to Management

Value employees' opinions more instead of brushing them under the rug.

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Rules and regs, not development

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Associate in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good place for an ambitious, go-getter, generalist to start their career in USAID contract management. Lots of opportunities for learning-on-your feet and taking on new tasks.

    Cons

    Bad place to hone specific skills, advance technical knowledge, or apply gain quality experience of what its like to carry out good development in the field. If you don't fit in to a certain personality type to succeed, you'll most likely get chewed up and spit out in a couple years.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in building technical expertise and research at all levels of the company.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Provides good project management experience, but extremely heavy on the administrative tasks

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Project Associate in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The staff is friendly, outgoing, dedicated and helpful. Professionalism is held to a high standard and there is an excellent set of process maps in place to help guide daily tasks. This is a good place to learn the ins and outs of project management. There is the ability to move around the company (though more laterally than vertically) and change positions. The physical office is designed well with large work spaces. There can be exciting and unique opportunities to work abroad in development.

    Cons

    Daily project management tasks are highly administrative for both associates and managers alike with little or no opportunity for technical work. With budget cuts and the current USAID funding, there are fewer opportunities for associates and managers to be sent to the field on assignment. The job can be highly demanding and stressful, especially when adding new business proposal work to an already full schedule. The primary focus is on profits and backlog, and little time is spent on monitoring and evaluation and focusing on technical excellence. With the company continuing to downsize and yearly salary increases frozen, the general work atmosphere isn't too optimistic.

    Advice to Management

    Bring more technical focus back to the company so Chemonics can retain technical experts rather than constantly relying on consultants. Be more selective with proposal applications rather than applying to 95% of RFPs so the company can be even more strategic about managing resources.


There are newer employer reviews for Chemonics International
There are newer employer reviews for Chemonics International

See Most Recent

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